Texting And Driving: Stop It Already
Texting and driving has been illegal in Indiana since July 1, 2011, yet so many people are STILL doing it and are simply ignoring the warnings about the dangers because everyone just thinks it will not happen to them.
Just the other day, I was sitting on the Lloyd Expressway at Burkhardt at the red light and both drivers on either side of me were texting, completely oblivious to whether or not the light had changed.
Some people say that drinking and driving is far more dangerous and law enforcement should continue to zero in on drunk drivers. The truth is that new statistics show that texting and driving is about three or four times MORE dangerous than operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Texting and driving takes three basic but essential elements away from the driver: 1) It takes the ‘visual’ element away from the driver because the driver is looking at the device and not the road. 2) It takes away manual operation of the vehicle, or lessens it dramatically because the driver is using his or her hands to text and message. 3) It takes away the cognitive element of driving because you have to think about what you are texting.
Michigan enacted it’s law banning texting and driving in August of 2010 and that state’s first case under the new law was a real head scratcher. A Lapeer, Michigan man was texting and driving, ran a stop sign, broadsided another vehicle killing a 78-year-old grandmother. The kicker in this story is that his sentence was only 30 days in jail and 12 months probation.
Now the argument is about harsher penalties for texting and driving which most politicians are in favor of. Texting and driving needs to be treated the same way under the law that drinking and driving is in terms of seriousness. If you absolutely need to text somebody, pull off the road or just wait until you arrive at your destination, or even better, DON’T DO IT!
Your life or someone else’s life may depend on it, so think about that the next time you reach for your phone to read the message you just received, or to send that text that you are running a little late, or the word ‘late’ will become a permanent part of your name…if you get my drift.